On any given night, there are nearly 3,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Additionally, there are few options for intact families (families with both biological parents) or single fathers with children experiencing homelessness. Affordable housing opportunities are scarce, limiting options for people to quickly exit the homeless services system. The number of affordable housing units is short in 2021 by more than 23,000 units for the lowest wage earners. All of these factors, plus others, increase the sense of urgency for us to take action.
We want all who lack housing to have a safe place to live. We plan to invest $13 million into efforts supporting our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness, providing for basic needs such as food and shelter, in addition to the resources needed to find stability.
- $5 million investment to expand and improve the existing Center of Hope emergency shelter at 534 Spratt Street.
- $8 million investment to purchase and renovate a hotel facility (Booth Commons at Mulberry) to serve up to 100 families—up to 400 people—expanding overall capacity of homeless services programs by 50 percent.
Building Strong Families & Communities
While many move to our area every day to seek - and find - opportunity, thousands more are left behind. Residents of many neighborhoods in our community experience food insecurity, high crime rates, poorer performing schools and more. We plan to invest $9 million in the development of Neighborhood Centers across the region, places where residents will find a variety of services for the entire family, including everything from Boys & Girls Clubs and community meeting space to food pantries, financial literacy classes and healthy lifestyle programs. Our desire is to join and support local leaders and residents in the development of their neighborhoods, helping to create upward mobility of the people who live there. We want to ensure that everyone can reap the benefits of the economic growth of the region and not be displaced by it.
- $9 million to create neighborhood centers, expanding existing sites such as our Oak Forest Club on Milton Road, and building three new ones in the next 5 years. These hubs of activity will feature Boys & Girls Clubs and a variety of programs developed by community leaders. The funds will go toward renovation costs, new construction, program startup expenditures and the hiring of staff.
An estimated 20 million individuals in the nation have a substance abuse disorder. Approximately 450,000 North Carolinians - 1 out of every 20 - are living with an opioid use disorder. Over the past 20 years, more than 12,000 North Carolinians have died from an opioid overdose. In Mecklenburg County alone, there was a 24 percent increase in the number of drug overdose emergency calls. Drug and alcohol abuse remains a tremendous problem in our community, destroying lives and tearing families apart. We aim to invest $3 million to fight the substance abuse crisis in our community and expand our support of men affected by addiction. For decades, the Adult Rehabilitation Center on Central Avenue has helped men battling substance abuse. Through its six-month residential program, men have access to counselors, group therapy, GED classes, job training and more. Beneficiaries have been able to rebuild their lives, reunite with their families and become the contributing members of our community that God has created them to be.
- $3 million to provide multiple facilities at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center on Central Avenue.
- By building a vehicle maintenance shop, we will expand our participants’ ability to develop their work skills and increase their earning potential. Through the maintenance shop, participants will receive hands-on training in auto mechanics through real-world experience.
- The expansion will also include an indoor gymnasium to promote better physical fitness—a key component in recovery—and program opportunities.
*The total campaign also includes resources for an operating endowment for these new facilities and programs. More than $10 million has already been committed to the campaign.
With your prayer, financial support and advocacy, we can "better the future" for countless individuals and families in our community. Together, we can make our community all that it aspires to be.